Author Topic: Stuck Fermentation  (Read 1842 times)

Offline Nagel Family Brewing

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Stuck Fermentation
« on: December 04, 2009, 08:58:11 PM »
Okay,
I was having trouble with too hot of fermentations with no temp control so I started using a cooler with a home-made foam lid and frozen bottles and I ended up with too cold of fermentation I guess because I am at 1.030 after two weeks and the krausen finally dropped.  What should I do.  It is an APA that started at 1.065 with WL051 (1 liter starter).  I think I was running 55-60 ambient during ferment for 11 days (I didn't have a thermometer).  The last 3 days have been at 66 ambient and the today the krausen is gone.  Should I transfer?  Should I make another starter?  I am brewing a porter with WY1056 tomorrow.  Should I top crop after 2-3 days and pitch it into the APA?  Suggestions?
Thanks,
Ryan N

Offline Nagel Family Brewing

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 06:36:15 AM »
Well, I went ahead and transferred.  Hopefully that will get me some more points today.

Offline denny

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 09:34:30 AM »
Are you sure that it's stuck and not done?
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Offline Nagel Family Brewing

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 06:52:33 PM »
It's definately not done.  The air lock in the secondary is moving right along now.  Looks like the transfer got it going.  Hopefully I will get down to 1.015 or so.  Fingers crossed.

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 09:50:47 PM »
I guess it's too late to chime in now, but if you think you have a stuck fermentation, moving it to secondary (and therefore off of most of the yeast) is the wrong way to go. You would be much better served pitching an active starter, or simply warming the beer up and swirling some yeast back into suspension.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 06:39:04 AM by majorvices »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 06:39:20 AM »
I guess it's too late to chime in now, but if you think you have a stuck fermentation, moving it to secondary (and therefore off of most of the yeast) is the wrong way to go. You would be much better served pitching an active starter, or simply warming the beer up and swirling some yeast back into suspension.

+1 - never transfer until active fermentation is finished. That yeast on the bottom of the carboy was the key to getting the beer moving again. Especially since it got so cold, the yeast had porbbaly simply crashed to the bottom of the fermenter. I don;t think you need a secondary in most cases anyway, but never transfer until you are sure the beer is done!
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Offline Nagel Family Brewing

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 08:18:39 AM »
Why is transferring the wrong way?  It seemed to work in this case.  What negatives will come from transferring to soon?  Like I said it did get fermentation moving again.  Isn't there still plenty of yeast in solution and didn't the transfer potential give me some extra oxygen I may have needed?  I had got it active once before I tried the transfer but it had stopped after two days warm and was still at 1.030.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 08:30:48 AM »
Why is transferring the wrong way?  It seemed to work in this case.  What negatives will come from transferring to soon?  Like I said it did get fermentation moving again.  Isn't there still plenty of yeast in solution and didn't the transfer potential give me some extra oxygen I may have needed?  I had got it active once before I tried the transfer but it had stopped after two days warm and was still at 1.030.

The yeast has not finished it's job. Did you by chance transfer the yeast on the bottom of the primary too, if so then yes it may finish properly. If you didn't tranfer the yeast cake then it would be unlikely your beer will finish properly, but you'll just have to wait and see. I would warm it to 70ish if you can. Good Luck.
Ron Price

Offline tygo

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 08:40:04 AM »
Also the activity in the airlock is probably CO2 coming out of solution from the transfer rather than increased fermentation activity.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 09:01:12 AM »
Why is transferring the wrong way?  It seemed to work in this case.  What negatives will come from transferring to soon?  Like I said it did get fermentation moving again.  Isn't there still plenty of yeast in solution and didn't the transfer potential give me some extra oxygen I may have needed?  I had got it active once before I tried the transfer but it had stopped after two days warm and was still at 1.030.
If you stirred up the yeast and got a lot of it back in suspension as a result of the transfer, then it should be ok.  To restart a STUCK fermentation, that is a fermentation that has stopped without consuming all the available sugars, you need to add a FULL WORKING POPULATION of yeast. Adding O2 is going to promote more yeast growth.  Yes there is enough yeast in suspension to bottle carbonate the beer but you are likely to face the issues that occur with under pitching.  Rousing the yeast in the primary and keeping the wort at 68-70F IMHO would have been the best approach.

Full Working Population of yeast,  an entire fresh yeast cake or better, a growler FULL of fresh active yeast from your friendly neighborhood brewpub.

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Offline Nagel Family Brewing

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 10:40:25 AM »
Also the activity in the airlock is probably CO2 coming out of solution from the transfer rather than increased fermentation activity.

I thought that at first too but I did get a 1/4 of krausen.

Offline Nagel Family Brewing

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 10:47:33 AM »
The yeast has not finished it's job. Did you by chance transfer the yeast on the bottom of the primary too, if so then yes it may finish properly. If you didn't tranfer the yeast cake then it would be unlikely your beer will finish properly, but you'll just have to wait and see. I would warm it to 70ish if you can. Good Luck.
[/quote]

I didn't transfer the cake.  That makes more sense though.  Hopefully the yeast will suprise me and at least get me 10 more points.

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 11:20:25 AM »
I guess it's too late to chime in now, but if you think you have a stuck fermentation, moving it to secondary (and therefore off of most of the yeast) is the wrong way to go. You would be much better served pitching an active starter, or simply warming the beer up and swirling some yeast back into suspension.

I concur...
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Stuck Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2009, 06:09:00 AM »
I always try to warm it up a little before doing anything.
Of course carrying a carboy up from the basement involves a stirring it up (little darling) anyway.

I've done the black t-shirt near a sunny window to get beers to finish in the past.
Jeff

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